Why People Collect Butterflies
An Irish Folk story and an approximation of an extravagant fib my grandfather told me when I was about 6
Long ago when the world was young, butterflies collected People, and kept them inside the crystal facets of their eyes. The People couldn't remember what they did before, because they were fed only upon the finest alcohol, but they still had feelings (one or two anyway). And one of the People was a great chieftain (his name is forgotten so we call him Chief Joe), Chief Joe pleaded with the Butterflies & said "Let my People go! And we will promise to always remember the names of the great ones from the Crystal Land and we will teach others of the Royal Lineage and Ways of Butterflies". He didn't say it quite that well, but that's what he meant, and the butterflies knew what to expect because they kept everyone blasted on purpose and for good reason.
So the Great Lords of the Air gathered in council to discuss the fate of People. The Advocate for the People was little Tullia the Milk Maid, who believed that no one was evil, and the Advocate for Butterflies was the Great Spangled Lord Fritillary (no relation), who believed everyone was evil.
Lord Fritillary said that the People were a threat to the world, and should be kept in the crystal land to be studied with the hope of someday devolving the Peoples destructiveness through hard and demeaning labor. Others also spoke against the People saying: "We'll all be sorry if we let'em go. They're faulty, powerful, and misguided creatures. Whatever it is, they get it backwards." Thus spoke the Monarch Plexippis Danae.
But then spoke little Tullia the milk maid, who was the smallest, cutest, most innocuous butterfly of all, (and oblivious to Lord Fritilary leering at her thoracic trocanter). She pleaded "Maybe People don't act properly because they want to know everything and are held down by their great brains, so if we grant them flight they will realize their happiness and attain complete knowing." Her compassion, idealism, and cute deely-bobbers (that means "antennae" in butterfly language) reminded the council of their own hope for the world and little Tullia swayed the vote of the high council to release the People.
So it was agreed, the Butterflies blinked their eyes and the People were freed and fell down out of the sky and landed on the ground. They got up dazed and hungover, foggily realizing where they were, they started to look for their car keys, & cell phones. And the dream began to fade ... But Chief Joe drew himself up with astounding authority and almost perfect recall (due to a splitting headache from his hangover), thus he spoke: "HARKEN TO ME MY PEOPLE! (ouch . . . OMG) We must remember 'The Promise', and, ... we get, ...um... Total Knowledge!"
". . . ! Right, Dude!, You're crazy! ... uh Wait! ... I remember that too, ... I think."
So the People formed teaching centers with jars of alcohol, nets, and crystal glass topped cases, labels and books to record the names correctly, argued endlessly over the proper classifications of lineage, got everything backwards and never did remember that they could fly. Except for Joe, who eventually got a good job filling the dumpster at Wallmart, and set up a website that gave away free videos about raising butterflies.
He also married little Tullia, had lots of caterpillars, & lived happily ever after.